On March 23, UPERDFI President Rico Trinidad sent out an appeal to the UP Engineering Community to support the development of engineering solutions to fight against COVID-19. Selecting projects from the top priorities of the UP College of Medicine and UP Philippine General Hospital, UP College of Engineering Dean Ferdie Manegdeg led faculty to work on projects with immediate impact: 1) 3D Printing Solutions, 2) Adult Ventilator, 3) Tracking Systems/TrAMS, 4) Decontamination through Plasma Cleaning, and 5) Disinfection of PPEs via UV Light.

The College also helps provide food and basic necessities to UP Diliman students who were stranded on campus during the lockdown.

Our call immediately ignited an outpouring of support from UPERDFI’s network of supporters, affiliates, partners and members, raising the requested amount within 48 hours! And at this point, we have reached more than 200% of the target, opening opportunities to expand our assistance. As of April 14, 2020, we have received a gross amount of PhP 3,773, 260.47. Netting out a PhP 249,850 unidentified donation which is felt to be for a UPERDFI routine account, and PhP 1,272,150 of disbursements for the five projects and the UPD Feeding Program, we have a net available amount of P2,251,260.47.

All the 90 contributors, most of them opting to remain anonymous or unidentified, deserve our heartfelt appreciation. However, we cite the following:

  • US resident Denis T. Carpio (ChE ’65) and his wife Martha. Denis, who grew up in Davao City, visited UP in September 2019, for the first time since he graduated (!). He attended the Tech Hour, and took time to discuss opportunities with ED Tito Aliga (ME ’66), they being college contemporaries who had kept in touch through the years.
  • Bobby and Angelita Castro, UP activists of the 70s, who own the Palawan Express Pera Padala conglomerate. Their five children are all UP graduates – Lilian, Korina, Karlo, Lisa and Bobbit; the latter three are UPCOE alumni.
  • US resident Luz Consuelo David, who had made previous donations to the UPAE Study Now Pay Later Program and to the UPCOE SWELL Program in honor of her departed husband, Antonio David, CE ’71.
  • Atty. Estelito Mendoza, UP Law alumnus, a topnotch lawyer and revered Law professor.
  • Angeli Mendoza, a UPD College of Arts and Letters alumna, who learned about our effort from a forwarded Viber group.

Releases of the initial appropriations for the five projects were made on April 3, 2020, and the donation to the UP Diliman feeding program was given on April 6, 2020.

  1. The 3D Printing Project led by ME Professor Dr. Happy Denoga started even before actual funding. Seventeen (17) 3D printers are now up and running, and have produced 1,000 pieces of face shield frames. Five hundred twelve (512) have been fully-assembled, 386 of which have been distributed to hospitals and institutions.
  2. The proof-of-concept model for the Adult Ventilator developed by the team headed by ME Prof Paul Rodgers was created and prototype fabrication is awaiting procurement of components.
  3. GE Professor Dr. Ariel Blanco’s Tracking Projects are in different stages of development. The Tracing for Allocation of Medical Supplies (TrAMS) has been initially deployed and an advanced version has been endorsed for further development. The ConTra COVID-19 or ConTra app will help track people exposed to covid patients. This will be field tested in Valenzuela City.
  4. The prototype for the Disinfection and Decontamination through Plasma Cleaning Project led by DMMME chairman Dr. Jong Vasquez has been created and is currently undergoing rigorous vacuum leak testing.
  5. The prototype of ChE Professor Dr. Jun Ballesteros’ Project on Disinfecting PPEs Using UV Light has been completed, and it is going to be field tested in a QC Hospital.

For those who want to march with us, feel free to support UPCOE and UPERDFI in providing engineering solutions for the country’s problems.


Categories: Feature